Round Three Thriller: Panthers defeat Houston to play for North Half title

By ETHAN TURNER,
HOUSTON - In the fourth quarter, with two minutes to go in a tied game and pressure at its apex, Yazoo County relied on their quarterback, their leader and 3A’s Mr. Football Kenneth Gainwell to pull out the win.  And Gainwell as he has done all season, came through to lead the Panthers to a 26-20 win over Houston.
With the game tied at 20, Gainwell led his team on a scoring drive that culminated with a 56-yard touchdown pass to Cherokee Edwards with 1:53 remaining to give the Panthers the win.
Gainwell was huge for the Panthers all game long as he showed off his skill set throughout the contest.
Gainwell got Yazoo County on the board first with a 22-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
He extended the lead in the second quarter with a 68-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw.
After a Houston touchdown before half, the Panthers held a 14-6 lead at the break.
Early in the third, Yazoo County found pay dirt again as Devarrio Sanders scampered in for a 7-yard score to give the Panthers a 20-7 lead.
In the fourth, the Panthers’ mettle was tested as Houston began to cut into the lead and eventually tied the game.
But from that point, Kenneth Gainwell’s heroics began.  After the touchdown pass to Cherokee Edwards, the Yazoo County defense needed one more stop to close out the game.
And on fourth down for Houston, a deep pass fell harmlessly to the turf, giving the Panthers the ball and allowing Yazoo County to assume the victory formation, sending them to North Half.
After the game, Yazoo County head coach Robert Dobbs gave the Hilltoppers credit for their effort but was ecstatic for the win.
“We knew that they would give us fits early on, but it’s just my quarterback and my running back making the play there on the clutch,” Yazoo County head coach Robert Dobbs said.
And he said that the win wasn’t only big for his team but for the community as well.
“[The win] is real big for the town,” Dobbs said.  “We’ve never made it to North Half as far as I know.  This win tonight was for the community.”
The Panthers now advance to North Half to face North Panola on the road.